Harmful Racial Fetish & “I like Japanese women”

This is a blog on some race related issues in the sex industry.

In a previous conversation with a fellow Japanese escort, our common racial background naturally became a topic which brought up an interesting question: how do we handle clients’ racial preferences or something people would call: “racial fetish”?

Unfortunately, the answer is complicated as lines have to be drawn around this terminology.

Obsession
First thing first, there is a group of men out there who are, culturally or sexually, ‘obsessed’ with the idea of Japanese women. Many of them believe that Japanese women are petite, cute, naturally submissive with an innocent look while secretly having an abnormally high sex drive…

These men are very often misled into this obsession by Japanese pornography or erotic manga/anime, which are created for the sole purpose to fulfil a specific type of male sexual fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Japanese men who, too, share this obsession. However, when it comes within the context that I work in Sydney and my clients are mostly white, this kind of stereotypical misconception becomes a harmful orientalist/colonialist fantasy, that will most definitely sour the romantic encounter by squeezing the lady into his misguided framework of what she should be, and sometimes it can become a threat to the safety of us Japanese sex workers.

It is this type of men who raised red flags for the sentence “I like Japanese women.” By saying that, what many of them are essentially saying, is that they have a set of expectations as to what a Japanese woman should be, how she should behave, and sometimes, what services she should agree to provide when he pushes ‘hard enough’. Now I believe we all see how this can become dangerous…

Core Issues and Our Responsibility
The core issue with this is not whether a provider should or can offer submissive racial fantasy as a service, I know some ladies who are reputable professional subs as the “Japanese porn girl”; the core issue, however, is a historical misconception of the female “Japanese-ness”, issues with consent/boundary-pushing, and lastly, a mismatch of clients and providers.

When I, and some other independent Japanese escorts, feel alarmed, we will tend to ask more on their opinions as to what define a Japanese woman. If they indeed have this mindset generalising Japanese women into an orientalist frame, we would discourage them from seeking our services (Girl Friend Experience or cultural contents) and recommend the option of seeking advice from fantasy providers or specialised PSE (Porn Star Experience) providers, who are experts in negotiating terms, conditions, play scripts and so on. (They still can choose to entertain or turn away, it all depends on the lady’s boundaries)

I think we, as sex workers of racial minorities, have a duty to clarify to our western enquirers and draw a line between fantasy and reality; harmful and harmless. Orientalist racial fetish distracts the focus from the lady’s service away to a set of hoops westerners expect us to jump because we are Japanese. And that, is a form of racism in its own ways.

‘Safe Zone’
Now what I’m going to clarify may be even more important:

Gentlemen, if you are genuinely more attracted to Japanese women because:

– you had a nice Japanese ex, or
– your encounters with Japanese women were lovely experiences, or
– you find our culture fascinating, or
– you love our skin/body/hair/smile/…
……

Please rest assured, you’re not a harmful client.
The key of chemistry is respect, and a kind, open mind:)

my-kimono

*The image is one of my non-handpainted kimono which I actually can share online without worrying about my privacy, as they’re not made-to-order hence less identifiable*

 

===== Updates・5 Oct 2016 =====

Special thanks to Miss Inga Nord, Miss Fleur and Kelvin.

Thank you for your help/insights. The information below is added on as a bit ‘extra’ for the general audience:

The orientalist mindset is especially common in the United States due to a historical renovation of Japan’s national image after WW2. Japan, more than any other Asian countries, is given a hyper-feminised name/definition – “America’s Geisha Ally”, which implies a series of submissiveness as ‘national characters’. Besides the obvious effect that it wrongfully sexualises Japan as a whole, it also cast a shadow on the nature of being a Geisha – it is not about indulging every whim of the clients (although many documentaries still claim so). In reality, Geisha and Maiko in Kyoto are seen as celebrities and banquets proceed upon a high level of mutual respect… To claim Geisha is inferior/submissive to their clients is a gross misconception: humbleness and manners can look submissive, but these are our culture, and not meant to satisfy anyone’s sexual fantasy.

Another reason I found orientalist mentality extremely toxic is when it puts Asian women down and erases their individuality in the name of ‘exoticism’. Modern Orientalist mindset has more impact on my peer working ladies, many of the Asian girls are expected to charge less because they’re not white, and the words used in their advertisement are often: “sweet”, “petite”, “innocent-looking”… This seemingly harmless marketing/pricing policy perpetuates the Orientalist concept that Asian women are docile, submissive, and, most alarmingly, “cheaper” than our white peers.

I believe if you go onto online review boards, you’ll soon find many reviews of Asian girls, how submissive they are; how agreeable they are… Some even walk on the edge of serious boundary pushing behaviours and physical harm (unnegotiated BDSM, bleeding, etc.)… They’re a gruesome archive of how the Orientalist mindset jeopardises working ladies’ safety. There’re too many points to be covered, hopefully I’ll have enough time to write another blog and elaborate…

 

Until we meet…♡
Yuko

5 thoughts on “Harmful Racial Fetish & “I like Japanese women”

  1. Kelvin Tan says:

    I’m sorry Yuko – but they’re still caricaturing you / feeding their cultural fetish. We all experience the desire to learn about new cultures once in a while (e.g. for a while because i was learning arabic and reading the quran) but these non-Japanese men/gaijin have (in my humble opinion) stepped past the line of cultural curiosity / fascination (your self described safe zone) to acting out their Japanophile desires.

    i’m not judging them because they’re paying for companionship / intimacy – but i am for buying into and fueling the standard Western hypersexualisation of Asian women. And this is not just for Japan, its basically for all Asian countries. You’ve been to Roppongi right?

    End of the day i imagine you’ll do very well working in Sydney because you have an incredibly unique background (half chinese too? shi ma..) and offer a truly unique experience.

    But i’m just one asian male who probably fits the description of otaku / herbivore who’s replying to a blog at 3.14am… (i hope this doesn’t come across as rude – i just felt it needed to be said)
    ……

    • Yuko says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      Thank you for contributing your insights, I’ve updated the blog with a bit more information.
      This is indeed a serious issue which needs discussion, I’m very glad gentlemen like you are speaking up against this toxic mindset:)

      Until we meet…
      Yuko

  2. Kelvin Tan says:

    Hi Yuko,

    What you write about regarding the “historical renovation” of Japan is interesting. Just last week there a film on Netflix dramatizing the end of the war – and talked about the role of Macarthur, the emperor and Tojo. There’s some truth to the notion that Orientalism derives from that idea that the USA needed to subjugate Japan both culturally and militarily. You could argue during the Vietnam war 25 years later that Vietnam was probably made to be submissive both as a country and as a people (love you long time?)

    Again I hope I don’t come across as rude / patronising. I read a lot about this whole Orientalism phenomenon and it seems to be all pervasive in western multicultural societies. In America it’s probably a lot worse than in Australia especially when it comes to the “industry”. I want to make sure I don’t come across as a white knight / noble and honorable protector. That’s the absolute last thing I am or wish to be – we’re all adults who make our own decisions and we all have our individual desires.

    End of the day – that orientalism and hyper-sexualisation of North Asian females is definitely something that will affect your daily life more than it will affect mine. Truth be told I’ve grown up with it and got used to the idea of how modern western societies view north Asian societies. In the end I imagine you’re intelligent enough to stand out as an individual with your own unique story and character which would hopefully prevent any negative impact of society wide orientalism.

    All the best and thanks for replying.
    Kelvin.

    PS http://www.escape.com.au/world/asia/where-to-see-a-geisha-in-kyoto-and-other-things-to-do/news-story/5545f326cb37d14c528c7b4008aeeed4

    would this guide be considered accurate?

    • Yuko says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      Thank you again for your contribution. Please don’t worry; respectful discussions like this are greatly appreciated.

      Regarding the article on where to see a geisha, the tone is slightly uncomfortable (the author made himself sound like a tourist who believes he knows everything about Kyoto but in fact have only been there once). In terms of accuracy, he is generally right about where and when to spot Geisha in public. Ironically the pictures he used for Geisha is a picture of two dressed-up tourists…

      Dressed-ups are very easy to tell if you know where to look, there are many clues (from head to toe) which I enjoy sharing with my clients in person; it is also a fascinating angle to examine the Geisha culture – the reasons behind its rules.

      Hiring Geisha banquets in Tokyo is generally easier than it is in Kyoto. Many Okiya in Kyoto still keep the tradition that rejects first-time clients who don’t have connections to their existing patrons. I’ve had clients’ requests wanting to hire Geisha in Kyoto and I assisted them as part of my services. Should you decide to enquire (for consultant or social dates), please get in touch from the contact form 🙂

      The sex industry has its sensitivities but we’re essentially human: service providers, daughters, healers, educators and more. Many ladies including myself provide social (non-sexual) dates, so please don’t feel pressured to put sex into the equation when hiring our services. For me, it is profoundly meaningful introducing the world of Geisha to respectable gentlemen; sex makes it a more intimate experience that forms a deeper bond.

      Until we meet…
      Yuko

  3. Kelvin Tan says:

    Hey Yuko,
    I’ve been cramming a lot of travel research the last few weeks. Its all pretty interesting – definitely will have to watch out for the dressed up ones.

    I know in Kyoto – like other major cities – that there will be places where non-Japanese and foreigners aren’t allowed in. I’ll just have to mindful of my surroundings.

    thanks for the reply

    PS i really enjoyed reading that other blog post about the customs in Kyoto from 1900 until 1945. Its all quite fascinating.

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